The Amazon.Com Customer Service Page

Like many online retailers, Amazon is notorious for making it difficult, if not impossible, to talk with a live, warm body. Not necessarily one that knows anything, but an actual person would be nice to follow through with on some issues. The author of this site has included contact info for Amazon, PayPal and eBay. The site may not stay up, but here's the brief:

Phone toll-free in the US and Canada: (800) 201-7575
Phone from outside the US and Canada: (206) 346-2992 or (206)-266-2992
Another direct line: (206) 266-2335
E-mail: orders@amazon.com

e-Bay, Inc.
Toll Free: 800-322-9266
And another one: 888-749-3229

Also on the site are some good snail-mail addresses and lots of other info, including a nifty rant.


Seen on my Way to Work

Bumper sticker:
Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing its idiot.
It was good for a laugh.


The Supreme Celtic Empire of Dongyrn - Revisited

UN Category: Corporate Police State
Civil Rights:
Political Freedoms:

The Supreme Celtic Empire of Dongyrn is a massive, environmentally stunning nation, remarkable for its compulsory military service. Its hard-nosed, hard-working, cynical population of 1.52 billion are ruled with an iron fist by the corrupt, dictatorship government, which oppresses anyone who isn't on the board of a Fortune 500 company. Large corporations tend to be above the law, and use their financial clout to gain ever-increasing government benefits at the expense of the poor and unemployed.

It is difficult to tell where the omnipresent, corrupt, pro-business government stops and the rest of society begins, but it juggles the competing demands of Law & Order, Defence, and Education. The average income tax rate is 100%. A powerhouse of a private sector is led by the Uranium Mining industry, followed by Arms Manufacturing and Beef-Based Agriculture.

Wolfs are considered a delicacy, college students make ends meet by selling their kidneys, newborns are being raised as mindless killing machines, and phone taps are frequently carried out by the police. Crime -- especially youth-related -- is totally unknown, thanks to the all-pervasive police force and progressive social policies in education and welfare. Dongyrn's national animal is the wolf, which is also the nation's favorite main course, and its currency is the dongle.


Guns and Children

Marine Corp's General Reinwald was interviewed on the radio the other day and you have to read his reply to the lady who interviewed him concerning guns and children. Regardless of how you feel about gun laws you gotta love this!!!! This is one of the best comeback lines of all time. It is a portion of National Public Radio (NPR) interview between a female broadcaster and US Marine Corps General Reinwald who was about to sponsor a Boy Scout Troop visiting his military installation.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: So, General Reinwald, what things are you going to teach these young boys when they visit your base?

GENERAL REINWALD: We're going to teach them climbing, canoeing, archery, and shooting.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Shooting! That's a bit irresponsible, isn't it?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see why, they'll be properly supervised on the rifle range.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: Don't you admit that this is a terribly dangerous activity to be teaching children?

GENERAL REINWALD: I don't see how. We will be teaching them proper rifle discipline before they even touch a firearm.

FEMALE INTERVIEWER: But you're equipping them to become violent killers.

GENERAL REINWALD: Well, you're equipped to be a prostitute, but you're not one, are you?

The radio went silent and the interview ended.

You've gotta love the Marines !!!


Good News

A little while ago my mother-in-law went in for a scan of her kidneys. She had been having back pains for months, and was afraid the constant pain pills her former idiot doctor put her on might have given her an ulcer.

Well, turned out she had no ulcer. She did, however, have a very large growth, the size of a cantaloupe, engulfing her kidney. 98% sure it was cancerous.

OK, so the good news is this: it hasn't spread, according to the results of numerous other scans (MRI and CT). Since it is contained, that makes treatment much easier. She won't even need chemo treatment after surgery.

This whole episode just brought back in vivid detail the anguish I felt a couple of years back when my wife went though hell and back to cleanse her body of breast cancer. The feelings of helplessness from my father-in-law were echoed in my memories. I'll readily admit I'm not the dominant one in the family, I tend to let my wife lead the way. She takes care of the bills, gets the kids where they need to be when they need to be there. Every year I give her the day off on her birthday (or near to it so long as it's a weekday) and tote the kids around so she can play. I don't think I could do that every day really, I'm entirely too disorganized.

Which was the root of much of my, and my father-in-law's, discomfort. We're not used to being the strong one, the one to hold things together, the organized one. But that pales in comparison to the utter panic at the thought of even the possibility of losing the one closest to you. And not a damn thing you can do about it.

But at least this good news answers many prayers, and lets my in-laws just worry about the surgery itself. Which, granted, won't be a picnic by any means.

My wife just had another checkup with her oncologist yesterday. She's been in remission since last summer, but it never ends. The fear of going through it again, of still losing the one person who completes you in every way, it just never goes away.